Alaska North Slope crude strengthened for the fourth day in a row against West Texas Intermediate as refiners on the U.S. West Coast restarted units after maintenance.
Alaskan crude gained 75 cents on the spot market to a premium of $12.75 a barrel versus WTI at 12:32 p.m. New York time, the largest differential since April 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
West Coast refineries are the main consumers of the oil. Tesoro Corp. (TSO) said today it finished maintenance and returned to planned rates at its 170,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle plant in California. Shell said this week that operations at its Washington refinery were normal after unit upsets earlier in the month.
WTI sank 41 cents, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $93.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eliot Caroom in New York at email@example.com